India's bowlers enjoyed a useful workout in their final warm-up match before the first Test against England at Trent Bridge, which gets underway a week on Thursday, as Derbyshire racked up 326 for five on Day 1 at the County Ground.
The tourists, who drew with Leicestershire in their first fixture of the tour last week, once again opted to utilise all 18 players against a side currently sitting second from bottom in Division Two of the County Championship.
And after winning the toss, India captain MS Dhoni chose to field first in order to give his crop of pacemen and spinners a much-needed run-out after rain restricted them to just 62 overs at Grace Road, with the skipper going on to use nine different bowlers in the 90 overs on the first day.
Worryingly for Dhoni and head coach Duncan Fletcher, it was only really Ravindra Jadeja who caused any problems at all for the home batsmen on what was a good pitch, with the slow left-armer ending up with impressive figures of two for 27 from his 11 overs.
The morning had begun brightly for India, however, when Derbyshire opener Paul Borrington was neatly caught low down at second slip by Ajinkya Rahane off the bowling of Pankaj Singh for a 17-ball duck in just the sixth over of the day to leave the home side on nine for one.
Borrington's opening partner Ben Slater fared much better, though, as the 22-year-old left-hander brought up an attractive half-century in the first session with his ninth boundary four, before then becoming one of Jadeja's two victims either side of the interval, with Derbyshire skipper Chesney Hughes his first having been bowled for 23 on the stroke of lunch.
Derbyshire 1st Innings 326 for 5 (90.0 overs)
|Slater||c Dhoni||b Jadeja||54||160||121||9||0|
|Borrington||c Rahane||b Pankaj Singh||0||22||17||0||0|
|C Hughes||b Jadeja||23||95||60||4||0|
|A Hughes||b Pandey||1||10||14||0||0|
|Durston||c and b Binny||95||104||90||14||2|
|Extras||10nb 0w 6b 17lb||33|
|Total||for 5 (90.0 ovs)||326|
And when Alex Hughes then had his leg stump rearranged by Ishwar Pandey for just one, Derbyshire suddenly found themselves in trouble on 115 for four, only for Billy Godleman and Wes Durston to share in an impressive fifth-wicket stand of 124.
It was the latter who led the way by blasting a quick-fire 95 from only 90 balls, including 14 fours and two sixes, as the tourists' plethora of bowlers were made to look distinctly ordinary, and none more so than experienced paceman Ishant Sharma.
Ishant, who is set to take the new ball for India in Nottingham next week, struggled again as he had also done at Grace Road, with the lanky fast bowler delivering 12 innocuous overs at a cost of 49 overs, including eight no-balls in his first spell during the morning session.
In the end, however, Durston's fine knock came to a rather tame finish after the right-handed batsman was caught and bowled by medium pacer Stuart Binny to leave Derbyshire on 239 for five, although No. 4 Godleman and 17-year-old wicketkeeper Harvey Hosein then proceeded to add 87 more runs without any further alarms.
Hosein, who was making his first-team debut for the county, made an eye-catching unbeaten 53, with the youngster bringing up his half-century by pulling Dhoni—the India skipper had decided to bring himself on to bowl the final over of the day—to the boundary for the eighth four of his innings.
And at the other end, Godleman was not out, too, having made a patient 67 from 159 deliveries in a knock that also contained eight fours to leave the hosts in a strong position at the close of play.